Gaisal Tragedy | Family Still Hopeful of Finding Missing Nishanta

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Sadin Pratidin group launches a campaign to find missing Nishanta

By Amlan Jyoti Saikia

This unforgettable incident took place on August 2nd, 1999 when Shyamanta Das and his wife Smt. Sabita Das and their son Nishanta Das (Dudla) of New Guwahati were coming from Katihar to Guwahati by Avadh Assam Express.

2nd August, 1999

Two trains carrying 2,500 people collided at the remote station of Gaisal, 310 miles from the city of Guwahati in Assam. The crash was at such high speeds that the trains actually exploded upon impact killing at least 290 people. The crash occurred at about 1.30am on 2 August, when the Avadh Assam Express from New Delhi was stationary at the station.

Gaisal train disaster

The Brahmaputra Mail from Dibrugarh, packed with soldiers and security police heading for the border regions at very high speed, through a signalling error, was transferred onto the same track as the express train. Nobody noticed the error on either train, or in the signals & station master’s office, until the Brahmaputra Mail train crashed headlong into the front of the Avadh Assam Express.

Nishanta Das & his family

Shri Shyamanta Das and his wife Smt. Sabita Das and their son Nishanta Das (Dudla) of New Guwahati were coming from Katihar to Guwahati by Avadh Assam Express on August 1st 1999.  As there was a serious train disaster at Gaisal (West Bengal) on August 2nd 1999, both Shri Das and Smt. Das were seriously injured, but their son escaped unhurt.

Nishanta Das & his family

Mr. and Mrs. Das were given first aid by the relief workers at Gaisal accident site, where the son was also with them on August 2nd. 1999. From there they were taken to Islampur Civil Hospital. As the condition of both Mr. and Mrs. Das was critical, they were shifted to North Bengal Medical College Hospital at Siliguri leaving behind their son viz. Master Nishanta Das. Since then the child is missing from the Islampur Relief Camp from August 2nd. 1999.

Gaisal train ghost

The victim family wrote to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the matter was enquired by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) at various places including the Hospitals and with various voluntary organisations.

Wide publicity through Newspaper and Doordarshan was made for obtaining the information regarding the child The District Magistrate, Raiganj was also contacted but there was no information about the child. However, all concerned have been directed by Superintendent of Police (GRP), Siliguri to trace out the missing Nishanta Das.

Even, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in her tenure also separately requested the Home Minister to suitably advise the State Government of West Bengal to render all necessary assistance in this matter.

Campaign Launched To Find Missing Assamese Boy

On 21st June, Asomiya Pratidin digital started a campaign to locate missing Nishanta | https://www.asomiyapratidin.in/a-missing-child-in-gaishaal-train-accident-nishanta-special-writing-by-mridul-kr-handique/

Prakash Mahanta, Associate Editor Asomiya Pratidin has sent three separate letters to Prime Minister Of India, West Bengal CM-cum-the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Editor-In-Chief of Anandabazar Patrika in this regard | https://www.asomiyapratidin.in/hansita-waiting-for-her-brother-a-special-writing-by-mridul-kr-handique/

An emotional appeal from Nishanta’s sister

As the matter had already been enquired by various government departments; hence, the government can apply a successful digital campaign in this case as India’s digital infrastructure is coming to life, with a combination of policy and technological innovation has played an important role.

Last photo of Nishanta

As we know, PM Narendra Modi is doing a popular Radio Program ‘Mann Ki Baat’– in which he addresses the people of the nation on All India Radio, DD National and DD News. If possible, honorable PM can present the story using the popular platform, so that Das’ family can get back their son.

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